Last night I saw the latest live-action event made by Disney. And I have to say, I’m relieved. I hate to admit it, but my hopes were not very high for the film, and I also was a little hurt that there was going to be another genie. But I was looking at it all wrong. Mild spoilers ahead.
The reason stories are universal, is because we all view and relate to them in our own way. And the 2019 Aladdin, is not and never was replacing the original animation. It is simply a different point of view. And I enjoyed it.
Will Smiths genie was the subject of most of my scrutiny. And he did a fabulous job. His character of genie was a completely different guy to Robins. He was funny, likeable, and very Will. Before I watched the film, I had heard that Will Smith had used his Fresh Prince persona for the genie. When I heard this, my eyebrow rose. The fresh prince is a great character, but would that translate well in an all-powerful genie?
I did note that the CGI of genie at times, seemed a little weird. I am by no means an expert in that area. But it just felt off sometimes. And the singing from genie felt meh in certain areas, but overall was decent.
The casting of our boy Aladdin was superb. And whilst I was watching it, I could see some serious similarities to the animation. He was cheeky and adorable. I also don’t remember seeing his nipples.
Naomi Scott did a great job as Jasmine, and her singing gave me chills. Especially with the original song, Speechless. This version of the story definitely explored Jasmines ambitions more, and her potential outside of just marrying whomever she wants.
One of my favourite part of the film was the dancing sequences. They mixed Bollywood and Hip-hop perfectly, and it made me want to dance so hard. I thought that it was a beautiful moment, bringing two different cultures together, and celebrating them both.
The colour in the film was delightful, and I could hear the children in the cinema gasping in delight at it. Occasionally the scenery had a stage show vibe, but who cares.
I didn’t love Jafar. The character felt weak and unintimidating. He definitely needed more menace and more intelligence. Sure, he was handsome. But I don’t really want to view Jafar in that way.
My absolute highlight of the film though, was when Aladdin used his final wish and freed Genie. Will Smiths acting was incredibly touching and was a beautiful moment. The surprise on his face when Aladdin used his final wish for him, was incredibly genuine, and then changed to pure gratitude. I think this version of Aladdin definitely explores the effects on Genie, being in the Lamp for thousands of years, forced as a slave, serving cruel masters. It adds a great deal depth to his character.
So, should you all see the film? Absolutely you should. But, please do not compare it to the animated version. Robin Williams Genie was incredible, and Will Smiths genie was also incredible. Just enjoy the beauty, and the wonder.